I have a few books in German lingering on my TBR- and currently-reading shelf. One of them I have been taking along to the communal pool… it‘s a fun read, actually, so it will come along on my holiday as my summer read…
No, that photo does not show my communal pool….. 😜
I am a guest in a hotel, I am at home in my camper
Whether on Corsica or in the Swedish forests, Bettina Tietjen has happily parked her motorhome forwards, backwards and sideways for many years. She and her family enjoy life without a dress code or a fixed destination – and if the weather is bad, you simply drive to another place. Her declaration of love for camping is about freedom under the starry sky, the search for the best place for a van and a hammock, it’s about hot tent neighbors, animal visitors and other strange encounters. For example, when someone exclaims enthusiastically while emptying the smelly chemical toilet: “Ms. Tietjen, is it really you? I know you from TV! ”- these are camping moments that you will never forget.
Yes, we camp!
The sympathetic presenter and bestselling author lets us look behind the curtains of her camper
From the German book blurb
And the first sentence, translated from the original German:
„Could you just take off your sun glasses?“ The man stands so closely to me, that his belly almost touches me.
As expected, I didn‘t get a lot of reading done today. I slept for about seven hours. And spent about eight more hours at a birthday party. One and a half hours at a friend‘s place before the party, some time spent looking after my tomatoes and baking bread…
In the end I only managed to read for 3 hours and 30 minutes.
Audio: Ancillary Justice (Imperial Radch #1) by Ann Leckie — this is a re-read. And so far I am not taking in much of the audio. I think I actually have to look up a good plot summary somewhere. I might have to get a print version of this. Maybe a nice box set of the trilogy? The first time around listening to this I was definitely more focussed.
I just signed up for Dewey‘s Reverse Readathon. Spontaneously and rather foolishly. It will start in a little less than 3 hours, at 2 a.m. my time. When I will most likely be in bed, I am really tired already! Well, maybe…. I just started a batch of sourdough bread and need to do another two stretch-and-folds. Anyway… I can read a bit in the morning. In the afternoon I am at a birthday party and I might be there quite a long time. Maybe more reading in the last hours of the readathon. I will definitely not be around a lot for this one. We‘ll see!
I feel a little lost, actually, as I haven‘t done any of the preppy things. Oh well, I will check in when I can. And I will set up my timer to keep at least some kind of track of my reading. There is a bingo card for updates to Instagram…
My favourite Otfried Preußler book as a child, loved it even more than „The Little Witch“. Loved it, loved, loved it! My fascination with books set under water obviously started early. Maybe this book is why? Huh, never thought of that before!
I read this twice, first as a teenager and then again in 2008, as a gropwn-up. It’s a strange book. I fluctuated between being in love with the writing and being bored. Great idea. I liked the movie adaptation with Tilda Swinton, it captures the feel of the book pretty well. And I definitely understood the book much better the second time around. As a teenager I was mostly confused by the mysterious sex change.
I read this a very long time ago, so my memory is very, very faint. I remember one scene, where the protagonist is hunting rats underneath his prison hut. The rest is pretty much gone. Maybe it’s time for a re-read. I can‘t remember if I read Tai-Pan, but I most definitely read Shogun, several times…
I read this For the first time in my late teens, probably. That is when my lifelong obsession with vampires started. This should be required reading for any vampire fan. Followed by mandatory watching of all of Christoper Lee’s Dracula impersonations, rounded off by Gary Oldman as the famous count.
The creepiness of this book has stayed with me through the years. The description of Dracula’s look—his hairy palms where always especially off-putting—the weirdness of his brides, the atmospheric setting….
A trip down memory lane. When I started German Lit in highschool, our teacher gave us this scary list of books we had to read or else. This was on it and the size of it made it scarier still. I read this in the late 80s, so memories are very dim. But to this day I remember how great this book was, how I loved to read about the lives of some of these characters. I never touched this book again and I don’t think I ever will. I am too scared I wouldn’t like it anymore and I don’t want to destroy my feel-good-vibe.
This novella is not an easy text for casual reading. I had to slow down my usual speed a lot to understand what I was reading. And to give justice to the beautiful language. Ultimately, this novel was a mixture of beautiful language and boredom. Since this novella is one of Mann’s most important works, I would say that the issue is mine! The subject of the novella was also way outside of my comfort zone. Aschenbach’s obsessive fascination with the boy Tazio was of no value to me. I was uncomfortable with the sexual undertones. From now on I will always see Thomas Mann as a tragic person. I didn’t really like this one.
I read this about 30 years ago, give or take. I struggled with understanding it and remember that I found it hard to get into it. But I liked the concept of the story and ultimately liked the book quite a bit. I think it should be recommended reading for anybody interested in SF that predicts how our society could develop in the not to far away future. Especially nowadays, with the advances being made in cloning, I think this book gains even more importance.
I read this as a teenager, working my way through my parent’s bookshelf. A pretty gruesome read, when you are that age. Apitz was a prisoner in Buchenwald himself and the story is inspired by a child that was hidden there by the prisoners, so I would assume it has a fair bit of authenticity.
So, that‘s it for this Top Ten Tuesday. I am surprised that I found this many books that I liked (Mostly).
I read the first two stories in this book and then stopped. While I like the idea of a different take on classic fairytales, I did not like the style. It felt old fashioned and didn’t grip me enough to stay with it.
Habe es nach 34 Seiten aufgegeben. Kindische oder altmodische Texte, seltsame Dialoge. Komplett unrealistisch und altbacken. Was um Himmels Willen hat sich die Person, die diese Texte ausgewählt hat, dabei gedacht?
*~*~* Bilingual texts for Germans wanting to practice their French. DNF after 34 pages. The texts were just to old-fashioned and unrealistic. This was devoid of any fun.
Buddy reads: – Limit, TBR challenge, carry-over, not terribly keen to continue. Put it back on my bookshelf for now. Sorry! – The Traitor Baru Cormorant, Zombie, ebook, ★★★★☆, fantasy, betrayal, scheming, revenge, politics. – Hell’s Aquarium, ebook, ★★★¼☆, Shark Week, Lost World at the bottom of the sea. Very bloody, pulp fiction at its best. The writing is not quite as great, but ok-ish. – Sharkantula: Shark. Tarantula. Sharkantula., ebook, ★☆☆☆☆, Shark Week. Oh boy, not good. Don‘t bother. DNF at 48%.
I was at an open-air theater performance in Tübingen recently. The piece was from Hölderlin and I realized that I know virtually nothing about one of Germany‘s most important poets. So I got this reference book and a short biography about Hölderlin at the library. The biography I put down again pretty quickly. This collection of essays about important German authors was quite entertaining. Each author is covered in a biography of three to five pages, mixed up with portraits of the author, photos of his home or family, a few quotes and summary of the most important work. Each entry was finished with a one-pager for the hurried reader, boiling down the biography to the essentials, offering a short rating and further reading recommendations.
You know what is the most frustrating thing about this book referencing the 50 most important German authors? They are all men. In the introduction the author announces a separate edition for female authors. Why a separate edition? And where is it, 13 years after this one here was published?
Let me give you some examples of female German-language authors that did indeed have an impact on literature:
– Bettina von Arnim (*1785-1859) – Annette von Droste-Hülshoff (*1797–1848) – Ricarda Huch (*1864-1947 ), nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature seven times – Else Lasker-Schüler (*1869–1945) – Anna Seghers (*1900-1983) – Ingeborg Bachmann (*1926 in Austria-1973) – Christa Wolf (*1929-2011)
Back to this book… informative, well-written. The one-pager was printed with black type on a red background, which made for bad contrast and was not easy to read. I am knocking off a star for that and another one for the male bias.
One of Hölderlin‘s most famous poems:
Hälfte des Lebens
Mit gelben Birnen hänget
Und voll mit wilden Rosen
Das Land in den See,
Ihr holden Schwäne,
Und trunken von Küssen
Tunkt ihr das Haupt
Ins heilignüchterne Wasser.
Weh mir, wo nehm´ ich, wenn
Es Winter ist, die Blumen, und wo
Und Schatten der Erde ?
Die Mauern stehn
Sprachlos und kalt, im Winde
Klirren die Fahnen.
Half of Life
With its yellow pears
And wild roses everywhere
The shore hangs into the lake,
O gracious swans,
And drunk with kisses
You dip your heads
In the sobering holy water.
Ah, where will I find
Flowers, come winter,
And where the sunshine
And shade of the earth ?
Walls stand cold
And speechless, in the wind
The wheathervanes creak.
I got to know author Rita Falk through the German movie adaptations of her series. I like those, so I picked up the audio of this one at my library. One big advantage of the original, German audiobook version is listening to the Bavarian dialect. I haven‘t read the books and don‘t know if speech is written in dialect as well, but I assume so. How this would translate into English, I don‘t know.
The narrator is a Bavarian actor who I know from other TV shows. He does a very good job and initially I even thought he was the one portraying the main character of this series.
Here is a link to the webpage of the author and her main protagonist (German only). No, German police cars do not usually look this old and quaint. Eberhofer is weird and drives an oldtimer… https://franz-eberhofer.de
What is it all about?
After Franz Eberhofer had to quit his job with the Munich police and was transferred to his home village of Niederkaltenkirchen in Lower Bavaria, he takes it easy with his duties as local law enforcement. His patrols always take him to the village pub for a beer or to his deaf grandmother’s kitchen table. But sometimes Franz also has to investigate rather gruesome deaths.
This is the 7th case. Difficult times for Eberhofer, Franz: his cholesterol levels are as high as his mood is low. Instead of food orgies with grandma, there is only healthy food on the plate. On top of that, his baby-mama stresses him out with out with extremely organized visits for Franz Junior. And as if that weren’t enough, Franz is now facing the most difficult case of his investigative career: a burnt corpse in a guest room at Mooshammer‘s, smeared with fire paste and mutilated beyond recognition. Everything indicates that the murderer comes from Niederkaltenkirchen… (rough translation of the German book blurb)
What is Leberkäs, you ask? Have a look at the book cover. It‘s a lunch meat from Southern Germany. It usually comes with a bun and mustard. Essential food item besides beer! Here‘s the Wiki for you: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leberkäse
The reviews for this 7th Eberhofer case are relatively bad. Can‘t say yay or nay, as I haven‘t read any of the others.
What did I think?
The movies are funnier. The story moves along really slowly. After two hours of audio not much sleuthing has happened.
The only black character is a walking clichée, which doesn‘t make this a winner and is embarrassing. Hard to say if the other characters are done well, as I already know them from the movies. They are little more than caricatures.
Another one and a half hours of audio and some change and still nothing much has happened.
In the meantime I have watched the movie adaptation on TV and that was not terribly exciting either. Or terribly funny. And now that I know the ending (have I mentioned that this isn‘t terribly exciting?), I have lost the last bit of interest in this too-cosy mystery.
Actually, not much of a mystery at all. The crime and it‘s resolution are little more than an afterthought.
Do animals have emotions? Do fish feel pain? How intelligent are pigs? Can animals lie? And more. Nothing deeply scientific, more of an entertaining pop science primer, interspersed with humourous anecdotes. Each emotion gets an entry with several examples of different animals and how they could feel and what researchers have to say about it. The books culminates in the question if animals can think and solve abstract problems. And if animals have a soul. And if they do, can there be a life after death for them? Seriously?
It was mildly interesting in parts, but pretty shallow, a bit monotonous and with a very repetitive structure. Ultimately I was underwhelmed, I expected more.